Showing posts from 2017

MisBeee Writes in a Year: Part 2

July: Ayɛwoho-Kitawons A visit to literary festival Africa Writes resulted in a chance interview with Dr Sylvester Onwordi – son of the late British-Nigerian author Buchi Emecheta. Buchi remains my all-time favourite author and I’m proud to say that with the exception of one novel – I have read all her books. I interviewed Sylvester about his plans to launch a literary celebration to mark her life and work on 8 February, which was later featured in The New Black Magazine.

August: Difuu-Ɔsandaa At Black alternative music festival Afropunk, I met Natalie Fiawoo from the Black Cultural Archives (BCA) who was launching an exhibition of personal and private papers from Ewe Fia (King) – Togbui Adamah II. This was the first exhibition of its kind in London and you can read more here. In the same month I met the founder of Black British Bloggers - Mariam Bashorun and later joined her blogging group, learning new skills, building networks and finding potential writing opportunities. Thank you!

MisBeee Writes in a Year - Part 1

2017 has been a year of highs and lows for me but definitely one where I have learnt an awful lot from these experiences and from you. Below is a month by month summary of MisBeee Writes' Year in Review with the months displayed in Fante and Twi. 
January: Sanda-Ɔpɛpɔn The year started off strong with a powerful interview from Tabom descendent Kai Lutterodt. Kai can trace her Ghanaian heritage six generations back to Brazil and has family connections to Brazil House in Jamestown. Her story was not only an inspiration for me but spurred readers with Ghanaian heritage to get in touch and share their own journeys of tracing their family history back to Brazil. Autism awareness campaigner Venessa Bobb works tirelessly in the UK to dispel myths surrounding the condition in Black communities. This piece in the Voice was designed to keep this awareness going.

Never give up on your dreams is what I learnt after meeting and interviewing Robert Badu. Robert grew up in Ghana at a time when dysl…

An interview with Shoobs founder Louise Broni-Mensah

In her early 20s, Louise Broni-Mensah became the first Black female entrepreneur to secure capital from a seed fund provider in Silicon Valley to grow her fledgling business Shoobs(pronounced Shubz). The provider was Y Combinator - a company known for supporting such names as online renting service Airbnb and Genius - a lyrics and music knowledge database. Three years later (in 2017) and thanks to the funding and expertise she received, Louise's online ticketing and discovery platform is changing the way party-goers seek out, buy and engage with urban events across the UK.
Passion project Louise took the traditional route to entering the business world. She holds a Mathematical Economics BSc from Birmingham University, worked in banking and finance and had her own property all by her early 20s. But music was never far from her thoughts. “I’ve always had a passion for music but I did it this way round because my parents wouldn’t let me otherwise,” she told MisBeee Writes. “At universi…

Keteke - shaping Ghanaian film excellence

Combine love, a bit of humour, 80s nostalgia and a pertinent social message about infrastructure underdevelopment and you get Keteke. Keteke, which means train in Akan, charts the escapades of heavily pregnant Atswei (played by Lydia Forson) and her husband Boi (Adjetey Anang) who are hell bent on getting to Atswei's village to give birth. But they miss the weekly train which forces them on an adventure filled with comic and nail-biting moments. 
Debut This Ghanaian film was first screened in March 2017 in Accra and had its European debut at the London Film Africa festival in October to rave reviews.
Written, produced AND directed by relative newbie Peter Sedufia, Keteke takes a serious look at Ghana's failing train system and gives a human face to the plight of ordinary Ghanaians who have no choice but to use it. The idea behind the film came from Sedufia's contrasting experiences of accessing transport as an adult visiting Finland and as a youngster in his village in the Vol…

Why separating sexual harassment and rape is dangerous

As the fallout from the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal continues to expose more public figures in and outside the film industry, and gives a lifeline to survivors courageous enough to speak out - I thought it telling how some sections of the public have been tripping over themselves to denounce any sort of link between inappropriate sexual behaviour and rape.

I say this because I know people who have been victims of both, and in most cases it was these ‘innocuous’ acts of knee-touching that eventually escalated into something more serious. Mix that together with perpetrators being in positions of power, a culture where vocalising victims’ concerns are ridiculed/ ignored or vilified, then it stands to reason that some will doubt their intuition and risk exposure to further abuse.
Harassment and rape I keep hearing that the conflation of inappropriate behaviour with rape devalues the latter – as if both acts were somehow separate. 
This mindset speaks to those corners of society tha…

Vlog: A Blogging workshop at Pa Gya - Literary Festival in Ghana

Blogging - by far - is my biggest passion at the moment and so it was a great honour to be able to represent Blogging Ghana (the Ghanaian association for blogging and social media enthusiasts) at this year's Pa Gya literary festival in Accra.
Pa Gya is a literary festival, which was jointly organised by the Writers Project of Ghana and the Goethe-Institut, and hosted by the Goethe Institut in Cantonments, Accra between 20th October and 22 October 2017. 

Bookworm's fantasy I would describe the three-day event as any bookworm's fantasy - second to my deep-seated desire to be locked in a library!!! Although low key, the event brought together the cream in West African literature, seasoned novelists, poets, aspiring writers, publishers and cartoonists. It also gave attendees a chance to get up close and personal with their writer heroes.
African writers Mine were the venerable Ama Ata Aidoo and Nii Ayikwei Parkes, who I had the pleasure of interviewing in 2015 at the London-based …